35 years after Back to the future, where are the flying cars?

Photo by Mehdi Babousan on Unsplash

Ever since the dawn of time, humans have been fascinated with flight. We imagined ourselves soaring through the skies just as the birds unfazed by the height, untamed by the earth. Leonardo Da Vinci himself imagined the possibility of flying machines which he meticulously chronicled in his journal. Fast forward to the age of literary science fiction and movies you have the idea of flying cars. This outlandish notion is further solidified by the relentless imagination of our species, so where are the flying cars?The prospect of building an ordinary car seems complicated enough on its own. The process that would go into building a car that could fly should be undoubtedly more complicated. Just as it is with any new technology, questions arise about how said technology will impact our lives. In the case of flying cars; what will power them? , Will they pollute the planet in any way? , Are they safe for us to travel in? , What about the age old dilemma of traffic?

What will power them?

In the world that we live in it has become apparent that the way we power our technological innovations does impact our planet one way or another. It is up to us to ensure that these impacts are positive ones and that they do not contribute to the degradation of our planet. The on-going theory is that flying cars will most probably be powered by Hydrogen. You may be wondering if batteries are a better option. The answer is no, batteries simply cannot facilitate the operation of a vertical take-off vehicle. They inevitably lack enough power to sustain flight for long periods of time. However Hydrogen according to scientists is a renewable energy source that has zero carbon emissions and is environmentally friendly. It is also relatively more powerful than gasoline which is an undoubtedly alluring perk.

The traffic dilemma

The flying car could the solution to the problem of traffic jams in densely populated cities. However despite how innovative this technology is does come with its faults. For flying cars to be integrated into the current first world infrastructure governments will have to build landing pads and other structures to accommodate these vehicles. This in theory could mean that tax rates will escalate which will put the lower earning demographic in a very precarious position. Hence the Traffic dilemma fix becomes a double edged sword.

Where are they?

At this stage flying cars are in the developmental phase, well some of them are. However there are a few of them available on the market. The PAL-V Liberty which contains two seats and has a flight speed of 100mph. The Terrafugia  TRANSITION with 4 seats and has a flight speed of 107 mph.